Apple Picking on the North Fork
Apple picking on the North Fork of Long Island is one of the most fun things to do in the fall. Did you know New York is only second to Washington State in apple production? Long Island is one of the smallest producers of apples in the state. In the fall, the North Fork of the most beautiful times to visit. There is pumpkin picking, apple picking, and apple cider; generally, it’s harvest time for all farmers.
Here are some of my favorite farms and orchards, with information on what each offers. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to determine the best time of day, and what varieties of apples are available.
Remember, when coming to the North Fork for apple picking or wine tasting, stay at Arbor View House Bed and Breakfast.
Breeze Hill Farm, Peconic
Breeze Hill farm orchard has 1,000 apple trees, including Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. Call for the best times, and they will direct you to the best areas for picking. They are open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tuesdays; U-pick is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. they are located at 31215 County Rd 48, Peconic; (631) 876-5159
Harbes Family Orchard
The Harbes Family Farm offers agritainment. That is entertainment on the farm. The 15-acre Harbes Family Orchard in Riverhead is part of their 78-acre farm and is open for apple picking in September and October. The farm offers over 20 varieties of apples: Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Gala, Zestar, Blondee, and Ultimate Gala. Your taste buds will thank you. No pets or outside food and drinks are allowed on the farm. The u-pick orchard is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Their location is: 5698 Sound Ave. Riverhead; (631) 298-0800
Hayden’s Peach Orchard, Wading River
Hayden’s has new owners but may keep the old name. Apples and Peaches are what this Wading River farm is known for. Some of the varieties they offer are Ambrosia, Cortland, Gala Golden, Jonagold, and Macoun. The farm stand is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with u-pick provided only on weekends. Their location is: 561 Hulse Landing Road, Wading River; (631) 929-1115
Lewin Farms, Calverton
Lewin farms is a family farm and one of the oldest farms, now in the hands of the fourth generation. They were one of the first u-pick farms on LongIsland. This new generation is continuing that long tradition. They have a wide variety to offer with many u-pick fields. You can cut your tree here at their farm at Christmas. There is also a five-acre corn maze open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays starting in early September and continuing through late October. No pets are allowed in the orchard. Cash only, and you can use their ATM located on their premises. Their location is: 812 Sound Avenue, Calverton; (631) 929-4327
Wickham’s Fruit Farm, Cutchogue
“Wickham’s Fruit Farm is a historic, bicentennial farm, beautiful to behold against the sparkling waters of Peconic Bay.” from their website. Wickham’s is not only one of the oldest but one of the largest farms on the North Fork, with approximately 300 acres, of which 200 are orchards. Wickham’s fruit is grown on some of the oldest continually cultivated land in the country; much of the farm dates from 1661.
For the environmentally conscious, this farm has done its part in curbing development. A substantial portion of the farm has had the development rights sold. That cannot be developed and will be “forever agriculture.”
Wagon rides are also available on Saturdays during the apple-picking season, providing a fun way to get to the orchards and see the farm. Other items, such as apple cider doughnuts, apple cider, pies, and preserves, are available at the farm stand. No pets are allowed. U-pick is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Their location is: 28700 Main Rd. Cutchogue; (631) 734-6441.
Windy Acres Farm, Calverton
This farm stand also sells fresh eggs, flowers, and doughnuts. Open weekends 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Their location is 3810 Middle Country Road, Calverton; (631) 727-4554
Woodside Orchard, Aquebogue, and Jamesport
Woodside Orchard, a hub of all things apples, has been family-owned and operated since 1982. There are two locations: Both have U-pick groves and baked goods, and the Aquebogue location offers hard cider tasting. Jamesport is open on weekends, and Aquebogue is for weekday picking. No opening date has been announced yet, but it is typically in the second week of September. Check their website for the latest info. 729 Main Road, Aquebogue; Their location is: 116 Manor Lane, Jamesport; (631) 722-5770